2023-2024 Catalog 
    Jun 13, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog

Pastoral Leadership, M.A.

Jeffery Stark, D.Min., Coordinator

We believe that the best ministry is “practiced theology.” The program leading to the Master of Arts in Pastoral Leadership degree is taught by leading pastors and church leaders, either actively engaged in ministry or with extensive ministerial experience, who also have the appropriate academic credentials (normally a doctorate) and a deep knowledge of theology. A small student/professor ratio allows for significant interaction within the group.

The aim of the program is to a) nurture theologically formed, technically competent, missionally effective, and ethically aware pastoral leaders; b) produce ‘influence leaders’ who will provide intentional patterns of leadership in ministry; c) encourage in these influence-leaders the development of a core theological vision that can be reproduced in other ministers, who, in the course of time, may be mentored by students in this program; d) address reflectively and purposefully the question, “What does it mean to be an effective pastoral leader of a community that embodies and nurtures the life of the Kingdom as presented in the Bible and incarnated today?” and e) develop in students an appreciation for and understanding of the history and theology of Christianity and especially the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. The program assumes that Protestant, Wesleyan-Arminian, and Holiness traditions are normative for most students and faculty, but students from other traditions are, of course, welcome.

36 hours


A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation from the program, no course counting toward graduation may carry a grade of less than a B-.

Program Format

The cohort format is followed for the integrated sequence of 12 courses to maximize student interaction within the group. Students are ‘in class’ 36 out of the 52 weeks in a year, and although designed so that students can remain in ministry in their local situations, prospective students must be aware of the significant commitment of time and energy. The program is completed in two calendar years.

Time Limits

A student is allowed four years from beginning the first graduate course to complete the entire MA.PL program. Coursework beyond four years is evaluated by the Program Coordinator, the Director of Graduate Studies, or the Dean of the School of Theology & Christian Ministry. Students granted permission for more than four years may be expected to meet current program requirements, and that may mean retaking one or more courses.